American public still willing to consider using nuclear weapons

Posted by: Research Director Tags: There is no tags | Categories: News

October
21

and many people would support the use of such weapons to kill millions of civilians if the U.S. found itself in a similar wartime situation.

Scott Sagan, a political science professor and senior fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, and his co-author, Benjamin Valentino, a Dartmouth College professor of government, recently published a journal paper on how Americans think about the circumstances in which a U.S. president might use nuclear weapons during wartime activity.

The results showed little support for the so-called “nuclear taboo” thesis, or that the principle of “noncombatant immunity” – civilian protection from such weapons – has become a deeply held norm in America.

Sagan said it suggests that the U.S. public’s support for the principle of noncombatant immunity is “shallow and easily overcome by the pressures of war.”

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